A north-east councillor is to face Scotland’s ethics watchdog amid claims she failed to declare her links with an influential group set up to transform the fortunes of Peterhead.
Councillor Anne Allan is accused of not notifying the local authority about her membership of the Rediscover Peterhead business improvement district (BID) steering group.
The body was established to push forward a BID proposal for the Buchan town after it was backed following a ballot last year.
The case has now been taken up by the Standards Commission for Scotland (SCS), the organisation that deals with ethical standards in public life, after a complaint was received.
It alleges that Mrs Allan was part of the steering group during 2016 and last year and that her membership and support of a yes vote had been prominent in the published ballot material.
The complaint also alleges that the BID process was a matter of public interest due to the use of public funds and the public ballot of the business and Mrs Allan should have declared her non-financial membership.
The case was referred to the SCS by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland (CESPLS).
The Commissioner will present the case against Mrs Allan at a public hearing in Aberdeen next month where she will have a chance to respond.
Professor Kevin Dunion, convener of the SCS, said: “The Councillors’ Code of Conduct clearly states that councillors may have significant non-financial interests, which must be registered and described.
“This can include membership of, or holding office in, public bodies, companies, clubs or organisations such as trade unions.
“The test to be applied is whether members of the public would reasonably think that such an interest could influence the councillor’s actions or decision-making in the council. If so, the interest should be registered.
“The requirement to register certain interests is a fundamental part of the Code of Conduct as it provides transparency and help maintain the public’s confidence that a councillor’s personal interests will not influence their discussions and decision-making.”
If the SCS determines that Mrs Allan did breach the code of conduct, a sanction of either censure, suspension or disqualification can be imposed.
Mrs Allan has been a councillor for 15 years and is the sole SNP representative for the Peterhead North and Rattray ward.